Class acts rock Kaiso Kickback
It was a nostalgic trip down memory lane Thursday (last) night when promoter Leroy Georgie Straker staged the first ever Kaiso Kickback.
The ‘big people’ show saw calypsonians who produced hit songs in the 80s and 90s singing their hearts out and enjoying themselves on stage much to the delight of screaming fans. There were encores, dancing in the crowd, comedy and a sweet party vibe which all helped to create a festive mood at Solidarity House.
Emcee Antoine Brudda Daddy Williams did a great job of providing the humour. But it was not about singing and dancing alone. During the show, a monetary donation was collected among the audience in aid of veteran calypsonian Mighty Liar.
The legendary artistes were all in fine voice and sounded as crystal clear as they did when their songs were first released. The backing band was masterful in its musical accompaniment, notwithstanding the fact that there were no real practice sessions held before the show.
Georgie himself took to the stage first to sing his 1993 release Song of My Land. He returned in the second half to deliver Pan Man dressed in a swimmers cap and a long bicycle shorts which the crowd found hilarious.
Pompey was the first performer to get the crowd hyped up with Doctor Doctor. He was so well received that he made his way into the crowd to enjoy the song with them. Prior to that, he sang his 1982 song Minibus Man.
Clearly in the mood to have a good time the audience sang along with Adonijah during the chorus of Woman which is still a favourite of many. The former Road March King increased the pace with his delivery of Ethiopian Rock, the song he said the people had fondly named Rock In Ethiopia.
Jah Stone sang Dem Mosquitos while Jadu did his 1997 song Rain which dealt with the pouring rain of 1987 which had affected the Pic-O-De-Crop finals as well as Grand Kadooment. Musical sang Monkey Business declaring “I ain’t forking ground fu monkey to run pon…”
A sharply dressed Termite did his Ten Dollar Man. The song, which lists all the things a woman’s lover wants to get from just ten dollars, had patrons swaying from side to side in their seats.
Classic brought the first half to an exciting end with Conscience Conscience and Mascoll. It was the latter that had the crowd in stitches and earned him an encore. With his 2006 song, he took patrons back to a time when the then Opposition Leader Clyde Mascoll had crossed the floor.
Multiple artistes thanked musician Smokey Roette who was a guest performer with the backing band for arranging a number of their songs, especially the ones performed last night.
Most of the action was in the second half. This is where patrons stood on their feet and started to dance to some old time infectious favourites.
Colin Spencer started off with his 1997 song Points System followed by I Need Help which he sang this year and said he will compete with, if he so desires, in the future.
Poonka sang All Over the Place but didn’t have his donkey. In a picong verse of sorts, he urged Bajans to continue using “You all ova de place like Poonka donkey”… even after he was gone. He did Follower Pattern in the first half.
Serenader did the Break Down with members of the audience trembling as he sang “One step forward and two steps backward and tremble…” The two time calypso monarch had earlier performed Steel in the first half.
Stalker was the first act in the second half to rock the crowd with Duke of York. The song is about the 1991 Barbados Workers’ Union-led strike where thousands marched against the then Erskine Sandiford austerity measures.
Fittingly, next up was Bongo with Like It or Lump It. Both songs tell stories of the political climate at the time and both artistes were in fine voice reminiscent of when the sounds were blasting on the airwaves.
Then Speedy had some members of the audience doing the “Speedy Shuffle” to his hit song Hold Yah Bam Bam.
Closing the show was the People’s King, Observer. Accompanied by the Cat Attack Girls who sang backup for all the artistes, he first sang Sukie. The song is a tribute to local drafts champion Ronald Sukie King.
He closed the show with Cat Attack which brought everyone to their feet as they danced and sang along. From the smiles and laughter on faces it was clear a grand time was had by all.
One could only hope Straker would make the event an annual one. A back in time show of this quality and targeting an older demographic is sadly missing from the Crop Over calendar.
The last time patrons benefitted from such a show was in 2014 when the National Cultural Foundation and Voice of Barbados staged the Former Calypso Monarchs in Concert show at the National Stadium as part of the celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the Crop Over Festival. (IMC)